Consumer attitudes and behaviors are changing faster than any other segment of healthcare. Patients – now defined as consumers — are learning the ins and outs of health insurance, and even helping to design their own benefits packages through the healthcare exchanges set up under the ACA.
Many of the new healthcare plans require consumers to have financial “skin in the game.” Traditionally, consumers have been unaware of the actual healthcare cost due to employer and government subsidizes. Today, consumers are forced to take financial stock of their health and benefits and are learning the importance of budgeting for their care as part of their ongoing household financial management.
This phenomenon is leading to consumer behavioral changes, particularly when social influence is factored in as a driver. Consumers are now smoking and drinking less and acting more responsibly; living healthier lifestyles through exercise and weight management and managing their chronic diseases more aggressively in an effort to reduce monthly health expenditures. When they need help, new information sources like social media and online forums is a simply a mouse click away. To this point, medical professionals have been absent from this conversation.
As a strategy, hospitals and health systems are implementing health information platforms that place the provider at the center of this activity – once again becoming the trusted advisor that attracts, retains and provides value to social conversations already happening.
This post was previously published by Trabnsvisional Thinking.
August 06, 2015